How Can IRS Appeals Help?If you've accrued an IRS back tax liability, you may already know that the Internal Revenue Service can make your life pretty uncomfortable. But what do you do when you're convinced that the IRS has acted outside its own rulebook in attempting to collect from you? If you owe the IRS, but disagree with an action the IRS has taken to cure your tax liability, you may request an Appeal of the following:
- Notice of Federal Tax Lien Filing
- Notice of Levy
- Notice of Seizure
- Notice of Wage Garnishment
- Installment Agreement Rejection
- Installment Agreement Termination
- Offer in Compromise Rejection
- Proposed Trust Fund Recovery Penalty Assessment
The IRS Appeals group is independent from the IRS Collections group, and claims to settle more than 100,000 cases per year. Appeals' goal is to make a fair and impartial decision to resolve your case. According to irs.gov, "the Appeals mission is to resolve tax controversies without litigation, on a basis which is fair and impartial to both the Government and the taxpayer"...
So How Do I File An IRS Appeal?If you need to prepare and submit an IRS Appeal, be ready to explain in detail why you think the collection action taken or proposed by the IRS is wrong. And be ready to provide thorough backup documentation to prove your theory that the IRS has made or will make an incorrect decision. The two most common Appeals in IRS collection cases are the Collection Appeal Program (CAP) and the Collection Due Process Request (CDP). Each Appeal has a form to help you prepare and file your IRS Appeal. The forms are available at irs.gov.
What Can I Expect From The Appeals Process?Appeals will take a fresh look at your case by assigning it to an Appeals or Settlement Officer, who's had no prior involvement with the IRS' collection of your back taxes. This Officer will review both your side and IRS' side of the issue at hand before making a determination.
Your Appeals hearing (or conference) will be held informally in person, over the phone, or through written correspondence. Your hearing will begin with an explanation of your Appeal rights and the Appeals process itself by your Appeals or Settlement Officer. You'll then be given an opportunity to present your reasons for filing the Appeal. But be ready to back them up with supporting information and documents.
It's also highly advisable that you research IRS law and how it applies to the facts in your case. This will level the playing field, giving you a much better chance of getting what you want from the process.